Regular pay rose by just 0.8% in the most recent quarter, the lowest figure on record, and a real-terms cut of 1.4%.
The shadow chancellor charges the Tories with penalising "the ordinary taxpayer" by shifting green charges from bills without punishing the energy companies.
While Osborne believes that "everyone will be happy as property values go up", new polling shows most of the public don't believe rising house prices are good for them or good for Britain.
As the economy accelerates, it will become increasingly difficult for Osborne to defend the 1% cap on public sector pay rises.
Imposing capital gains tax on this increasingly resented group will gift the Treasury more easy revenue.
If this is a recovery, the voters will ask, why aren't we feeling it? Cameron and Osborne need to offer answers.
The shadow chancellor never said that there would be no recovery, only that it would be painfully slow. And he was right.
The balance of credit for getting the Tories even this far has clearly tilted towards the Chancellor.
Labour won no credit when it tried to mimic Osborne's inheritance tax cut in 2007. The Chancellor is determined not to fall into the same trap with Miliband's gambit.
The cap is less a serious act of policy than a political weapon designed to trap Labour on the wrong side of the argument and to demonise the unemployed.